Making Culture Available to Everyone


“Accessibility” is one of the key words behind the annual Culture Night that takes place all over Ireland. That was also the main priority in Dublin this year, when the 13th Culture Night took place on Friday the 21st of September.

Ireland’s capital city is a cultural hotspot; whether you want to learn about Vikings, taste some of Ireland’s finest beer or get an insight into the country’s emigration history, there’s something for everyone. But unfortunately not everyone can afford to pay the various entry fees. Therefore, once a year the city hosts Culture Night, where the cultural offers in Dublin stay open at night either free of charge or with reduced prices.

Culture Night has existed since 2006 and with the years it has only grown bigger. Starting as an event that took place only in Dublin, it has now grown to be nationwide with around 400.000 people attending the events taking place.

One of the places you can visit during Culture Night is Dublinia, Dublin’s viking museum. The museum stays open every year on Culture Night, and this year they have also noticed it to be very popular: “We had 1,470 visitors between 5.30 pm and 9.00 pm, when the entry was free”, says Mary-Therese Byrne, the marketing manager at Dublinia.

Photo credit – Lisa Connolly

The official website of Culture Night,, states that the purpose of the night is to “encourage more people to visit cultural venues” and to “make it easier for people to play a role in their local cultural scene” and by offering free entrance and extending opening hours, Culture Night aims to achieve exactly that. “Accessibility to the arts is really important and Culture Night offers all people an opportunity to engage with the cultural sector”, says Joey Kavanagh, communications manager of Culture Night.

At Dublinia, Mary-Therese Byrne supports the idea of making culture more accessible and believes that the event reaches its aim: “Culture Night brings culture to a lot of people who can’t afford the offers otherwise. The free entry makes it more accessible for everyone”, she says.

Culture Night is established as a cooperation between the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as well as national and regional actors all over Ireland. The response to this year’s Culture Night has been largely positive. “We are always looking to make Culture Night bigger and better and it is quite gratifying that people seem to have enjoyed the events this year”, says Joey Kavanagh.

Now there’s really nothing else to do than wait until next year when Culture Night will once again take place.

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